Laverne Cox Talks About Singing 'Sweet Transvestite' in 'Rocky Horror' Remake: 'That Was The Only Apprehension'

The star's latest role as Dr. Frank-N-Furter came with some historical context difficulties

Photo: Mandatory Credit: Photo by Broadimage/REX/Shutterstock (6323358x) Laverne Cox Variety's Power of Women Presented by Lifetime - Inside, Los Angeles, USA - 14 Oct 2016 Variety's Power Of Women Luncheon 2016 - Arrivals

Laverne Cox only had one reservation when she joined the cast of Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do The Time Warp Again as Dr. Frank-N-Furter. More specifically, one word.

In the TV movie remake, Cox performs the song “Sweet Transvestite,” and talked to reporters at Variety‘s Power of Women Luncheon about her thoughts on the term “transvestite.”

“That was the only apprehension I really had about doing the film was the term transvestite,” she said. “I’ve been telling people, ‘Please do not go up to a transgender person in 2016 and call them a transvestite, that is an antiquated term.’ But in 1975 when Rocky Horror Picture Show came out transvestite meant a very different thing.”

“We don’t use that term anymore, but in the historical context of Rocky Horror it’s appropriate you don’t change the words to an iconic song,” she continued.

Steve Wilkie/FOX

As for taking the iconic role of scientist Dr. Frank-N-Furter, made famous by Tim Curry?

“[I was a] huge fan of Rocky Horror before,” she said. “The song ‘Don’t Dream It, Be It’ when I discovered the film in college became a personal mantra of mine. I had so much fun. The cast is incredible. We all gave our hearts and souls. Kenny Ortega is a genius and it was a dream come true.”

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The 2016 Rocky Horror Picture Show cast also includes Victoria Justice (Janet), Ryan McCartan (Brad), Adam Lambert (Eddie), Christina Milian (Magenta), Annaleigh Ashford (Columbia), Reeve Carney (Riff Raff) and Ben Vereen (Dr. Everett von Scott).

The Rocky Horror Picture Show remake premieres Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.

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